High Expectations for Action Express Racing at Lime Rock Park
Team hopes to follow up win, double-podium at VIR with similar success.
DENVER, NC; Two weeks ago at Virginia International Raceway, Action Express Racing was the talk of the garage as each of its two teams stood on the podium celebrating the team's first win since the 2010 Rolex 24 At Daytona and the first double-podium in team history. One might think there'd be added pressure to try and duplicate that success on Monday at the Memorial Day Classic at Lime Rock Park, but for the drivers and crew of the second-year team, it's expected.
Action Express has had at least one car on the podium in three of the four races this season and the team has already established itself as this year's challenger to the defending champion No. 01 TELMAX/Chip Ganassi Racing DP -- the team the No. 9 Porsche/Riley held off for the win at VIR.
Through four races, Action Express sits second and third in series points with the No. 9 DP 22 points out of first and the No. 5 DP just behind, 27 points out.
In 2010, Action Express failed to record a podium finish following its Rolex 24 win, but it was at Lime Rock Park where the team finished 4th -- its best finish following the season-opener. Given the team's development in the offseason and its momentum coming out of VIR, expectations are sky high again going to Lime Rock's small 1.5-mile, 7-turn road course.
"Lime Rock is our series' version of Bristol. It's really tight with no time to rest during a lap, and when you add in the one-day schedule with very little practice and development time, there always seems to be an air of urgency or panic," admits driver David Donohue, who finished 3rd in the No. 5 DP along with teammate Darren Law at VIR. "I think this will suit Action Express well, as we've been well prepared for each race on the schedule so far. Now that the No. 9 car has won at VIR, it's time for the No. 5 car to take the top step!"
Driver Joao Barbosa held off defending champion Scott Pruett over the race's final 50 minutes at VIR, earning the win alongside teammates JC France -- who took the lead in the Jim Trueman Award standings for top Pro-Am driver -- and Terry Borcheller in the No. 9 DP.
Barbosa has seen the progress within Action Express over the past year and expects the team to maintain its success this season, but admits Lime Rock provides a unique challenge for the No. 9 team and its three drivers.
"Lime Rock is a very fast pace racetrack so it should be an interesting race for the fans to watch. Action Express has been working very hard since VIR and we hope to keep the momentum going," he said. "It will be a one day event so there's not a lot of time for big changes, and with 3 drivers, driving time will be short for us. This team has done a great job though and that should be no different at Lime Rock. We want to continue achieving the results we have had in the past few events." ""... we are just getting better and better each race,|Darren Law|right
As the Rolex Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 season enters its summer months, it also enters the bulk of its schedule. Lime Rock marks the first of two races coming in back-to-back weekends, with the Six Hours of the Glen one week later on June 4. If a team can gain momentum over this stretch it can make a large gain in the standings. After its win at VIR, Action Express is in good position to be that team.
"I am really looking forward to our next couple of races. Our team has made such big gains this season and we are just getting better and better each race," said Law. "We have put at least one of our cars on the podium three out of the last four races and I feel like things are only going to improve. This team is working very hard and we have a lot more development in the pipeline.